Thames Tideway back up and running14 May 2020
Despite the Coronavirus having brought UK construction to its knees, tunnelling has resumed on the Thames Tideway tunnel, affectionately known as the ‘super sewer’. London’s currently biggest infrastructure project has been affected in recent weeks by a series of detailed safety reviews and measures instigated to protect workers and the wider community. This has included social distancing and personal travel plans.
Tunnelling work has now restarted at 21 Tideway sites, including underground tunnelling from Fulham to Acton and tunnelling of the smaller Frogmore Connection Tunnel in Wandsworth.
Tideway CEO, Andy Mitchell, said: “It was absolutely right that we paused our activity at the start of the pandemic. Only by planning very carefully what activities are safe are we getting our teams back to work. Our measures have been developed with our workforce and contractors, and are being introduced after detailed safety reviews of every one of our sites. The measures mean we are able to get more of our work back up and running, safely, minimising delays to this vital project and contributing to wider efforts to support the UK economy.”
Around 1,000 staff are expected to be working at various sites, many of whom will shun pubic transport in favour of cars, cabs, bikes or walking. If public transport is to be used, workers are advised to avoid the rush hour and follow public health guidance. Those who can work from home are expected to continue to do so.
The 25km-long Thames Tideway tunnel will run from Acton in west London to Stratford in the east of the city. Work began in 2016 and more than 14km of tunnel has been excavated.